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Kaboly: Common sense doesn’t prevail with Tomlin sideline incident


tomlinWhat a season it’s been for the Steelers, and that’s not even bringing up their 0-4 start and now playoff unfriendly 5-7 record.

* The offensive coordinator was sued not once, but twice with the latter being over somebody watching his dogs.

* The signed napkin.

* The quarterback asking for a trade, or so it was reported.

* The quarterback demanding he never did … over and over again.

* The report of the organization open to change all offensive coaches after the season, except for James Daniel, of course.

* And now, the sideline incident.

The latest is easily the weirdest … well, maybe second to the dog sitter suing.

The latest report has the NFL looking into Mike Tomlin’s interfering with Jacoby Jones’ kickoff return by standing partially in the field of play with his back turned to the action and watching the return unfold on the JumboTron at Baltimore M&T Bank Stadium.

There are now talks of heavy fines and possible forfeiture of draft picks for the Steelers because of it.

Are they serious? Well, this is the NFL, so the answer is yes.

Watch the video with just an ounce of common sense and it tells you that by no means was Tomlin’s actions on purpose. It would take quite a talent and moreover, quite a lot of guts to try to pull off something like that in front of what is well-known to be a large audience on Thanksgiving night.

Not to mention the logistics (OK, Jones will return the kick 73 yards up the left sideline so let me stand here near the field and watch the play on the JumboTron just in case he breaks one so I can get in his way.)

To add a little personal perspective, I have been on the field at Heinz Field at the two-minute warning for more than a decade. Many times I will watch a play unfold on the JumboTron for a better perspective. Problem is (and it’s happened to me), you lose your perspective of what you are looking at on the screen compared to what’s going on around you. It’ easily done.

So do I believe that’s what happened with Tomlin?

Well, put it this way: It’s a better explanation than a Super-Bowl winning and much-respected coach for the model franchise trying to purposely but inadvertently get in a way of an opposing player in a close game.

Come on. Common sense, please.

“I always watch the returns on the JumboTron. It provides better perspective for me. I lost my placement as he broke free and saw at the last second how close I was to the field of play…I was wrong, I accept responsibility for it,” Tomlin said after the game

That’s acceptable for me, but maybe I am naive?

But image is everything for the NFL nowadays, so Tomlin could be made an example.

If that’s the case, might as well take all Dolphins draft choice away for the next 3-5 years right now.




Author: Mark Kaboly

Mark Kaboly is the Pittburgh Steelers beat writer for the Tribune-Review. Mark has covered more than 300 NFL football games in all 32 NFL cities as well as four Super Bowls -- XL in Detroit, XLIII in Tampa, XLV in Dallas and 50 in San Francisco. A Belle Vernon Area graduate, Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a specialization in journalism from California University of Pennsylvania. Mark lives in Port Vue with his wife, Jennifer; daughter Briella; and boys Rocco and Bugsley Pug

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